When Bet Size Matters on Video Poker

If I bet more on video poker, will it pay a higher RTP like slot machines?

When Bet Size Matters on Video Poker and Slot MachinesI could spend hours comparing and contrasting slot machines and video poker machines. They have a great deal in common. They also have a lot of differences between them. Most of the details would be inconsequential, but not all of them.

The most important piece of information gamblers need to know is how the payouts may, or may not, be impacted by alterations to the bet size. A fluctuating RTP, or return to player, is something you generally want to be wary of, unless you know how to use that knowledge to your advantage.

For example, every experienced slot machine player should know that bet size matters. The higher the denomination of the slots game you play, the higher the RTP tends to be. Likewise, in games with variable pay lines, the more lines you activate (by spending one coin per line), the better your odds of lining up a winning combination of alike symbols.

The question is this: Can the same be said of video poker machines?

Should I Bet More on Video Poker Games?

If I Bet More on Video Poker, Will it Pay a Higher RTP like Slot Machines?The short answer is, ‘Yes‘… and, ‘No‘. Video poker games do not see an increase in RTP based on the required denomination of wagers. The RTP of the game will be decided by the rules of that game, compared to its pay table.

For example, Jacks or Better with a 9-6 Full Pay (9x bet for full House, 6x for Flush) will carry an RTP of 99.54% (house edge 0.46%), whether it’s a $1 machine, $10 machine, or $100 machine. In that way, video poker is very different from slot machines. Where higher-cost slots (usually) have higher RTPs programmed into them, video poker RTPs cannot be altered. Only the rules/pays decide that.

However, these games will accept from 1 to 5 coins, and if there’s a ‘bonus multiplier‘ involved, betting max coins is required to reach that optimal 99.54% RTP—just like betting max coins on a slot machine will activate all pay lines for the highest chance of lining up a win.

If I Bet More on Video Poker, Will it Pay a Higher RTP like Slot Machines?A bonus multiplier is what the casino industry calls it when inserting the maximum number of coins delivers an unproportionately higher payout for the best result. In this case, the best result is a Royal Flush. The payout for a Royal Flush when betting a single coin on a 9/6-FP game would be 250. It then rises, per coin, to 500, 750, 1,000 and 4,000—not the proportionate progression to 1,250 you would expect.

So, in order to play this game with that exceptional 99.54% RTP, you must insert the max 5 coins. But that’s not all. You must also follow a perfect video poker strategy, basing all decisions on the probabilities that produce the most likely-to-win outcome. If you play, basing your decisions on whimsy or gut instinct, your return will be lower than the advertised RTP.

Choosing a different video poker game—one with variable rules and/or a different pay table—will also result in a different RTP. Deuces Wild, for instance, tends to draw players based on the fancy name, implying that wild cards will increase the odds of winning. In reality, the RTP tends to be among the lowest, averaging 96.7% (house edge 3.3%) with max coins and perfect play.

So, in some ways, yes, the RTP can fluctuate. And yes, it’s reasonable to argue that bet size matters on video poker. But as I said before, understanding how it can change, and using that knowledge to your advantage, is the most important thing.

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